Will a MOT see if my car’s environmentally friendly?

Most of us are keen to keep the planet clean and one way to do it is for our vehicles to have the acceptable levels of emissions.

When you book your MOT online, you might wonder whether or not the test includes a check on emissions and just how it is carried out.

You’ll be pleased to know that the MOT test for any vehicle now includes emission checks. The government is so serious about this addition to its MOT testing that it mad it a stipulation for all registered examiners to study the subject in-depth.

What is good to know about this part of an MOT test

If your MOT test date is on the horizon, it is handy to know just what the test entails because if your emissions are too high it is an outright fail.

When you check MOT and tax online for deadline dates, you can go to the government’s check emissions website and type in your registration number and the level of your car’s emissions should be displayed there. Information on whether these exceed the government’s restrictions can be found on your vehicle’s registration document.

If your car’s exhaust is emitting blue smoke for more than five seconds, then this is going to be seen a major fault and result in an immediate fail.

If your car is a diesel the examiner will look to see if its particulate filter (DPF) has been removed or tampered with. This device, fitted to modern diesel cars from 2009, stop soot from emitting from the exhaust and into the atmosphere.

One quick way a tester can see if there is a problem with your emission levels is if a warning light appears on the dashboard signalling problems with the emissions system. 

How is the test carried out?

Unless a vehicle is electric, every one is tested for emissions, which is done by a special meter.  

Cars manufactured before August of 1975 are tested by the five-second rule on blue smoke emitting from the exhaust. The also applies to diesel vehicles that came out before1980.

Impacts of car pollution

Moving vehicles is one of the biggest sources of pollution in the UK and contributes towards poor air quality and ultimately climate change. Of the 34 million registered vehicles on our roads, 28 million are cars. 

Even if our car emissions are low, most of us are taking note of the number of journeys we take each year and try to minimise our time on the open road.

Transport on our roads accounts for 22 per cent of total UK CO2 emissions, making it a major culprit of climate change. All new cars now carry colour-coded labels (like we have on our white goods) displaying how much carbon dioxide the vehicle gives off per kilometre.

Air pollution from our vehicles includes nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons. These have health impacts on humans and animals such as causing respiratory problems and are just as unkind to our natural vegetation. 

So, when you book your MOT online today, understand why the test now includes the metering of CO2 emissions. 


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